AIM – Archivum Inquisitionis Meltensis – Mdina Cathedral Museum Archives

AIM – Archivum Inquisitionis Meltensis

The  Archives of the Roman Inquisition in Malta

The Roman Inquisition was established in Malta in 1561 and abolished in 1798 during French rule. Its very rich and informative archives – unlike those of similar tribunals in other countries including Rome itself – were fortunately saved and transferred twice, first to Valletta and then to Mdina. They are now available for research under the care of the Cathedral Archives. They are invaluable for the social history of our islands, showing how cosmopolitan Malta was from the late 16th to the 18th centuries. For many years these archives were completely neglected, as their contents were protected by the secret of the Holy Office.

The first two Inquisitors were the Bishops of Malta Fra Domenico Cubelles and Fra Martino Royas. Yet as from 1575 there was a series of foreign prelates, whose term of office in Malta – unlike those of the bishop and the Grand Master – lasted only for a few years.

The Inquisitor, besides being the Guardian of Faith subject to the Holy Office in Rome, was also an Apostolic Delegate subject to the Secretary of State, and later was responsible for the Reverenda Fabrica Sancti Petri in Rome. The Inquisitor also had his patentees.

Since the opening of these archives in 1968, numerous local and foreign scholars as well as university students have researched these archives and published dissertations and articles in learned jounals. In 1984 a conference with international participation was held in the Inquisitors’ Palace in Vittoriosa, with published proceedings.

NO. OF SERIESTITLE OF SERIESNOMENCLATURE
No. 1Acta civilia (580 mss) 1557-1798AIM Acta Civ.
No. 2Computa depositarii tribunalis sancti officii (5 mss) 1658-1798AIM Computa
No. 3Corrispondenza (104 mss) 1588-1698AIM Corr.
No. 4Memorie lasciate dagli Inquisitori di Malta (35 mss) 1711-1798AIM Mem.
No. 5Miscellanea (77 mss) 1487-1797AIM Misc.
No. 6Processi e denunzie (296 mss) 1546-1798AIM Proc. Crim.
No. 7Registrum actorum civilium sancti officii sanctissimae Inquisitionis Melitensis (19 mss) 1676-1795AIM Reg. Act. Civ.
No. 8Registrum brevium apostolicorum ac decretorum congregationum (3 mss) 1614-1754AIM Reg. Brev. Apost.
No. 9Registrum litterarum patentium (1 ms) 1739-1792AIM Reg. Litt. Pat.
No. 10Registrum sententiarum causarum civilium sanctissimae Inquisitionis (1 ms) 1753-1786AIM Reg. Sent.
No. 11Registrum depositorum causarum civilium (22 mss) 1676-1790AIM Reg. Dep. Caus. Civ.
No. 12Repertoires (41 mss) 1628-1793AIM Repertoria

Archivum Inquisitionis Melitensis

Reverenda Fabbrica Sancti Petri

The documents of the Reverenda Fabrica Sancti Petri originally did not form part of the archives of the Inquisition. Many years later, the Inquisitor also assumed the responsibility of administering these archives. The documents of the Fabrica are now referred to as AIM RF.

NO. OF SERIESNAME OF SERIESNOMENCLATURE
No. 1Acta (310 mss) 1628-1798AIM RF Acta
No. 2Registra varia (4 mss) 1629-1668; 1753-1792AIM RF Reg Varia
No. 3Registro di patenti delli offitiali (1 ms) 1626-1786AIM RF Reg. Patenti
No. 4Registrum actorum civilium (15 mss) 1628-1798AIM RF Reg. Act. Civ.
No. 5Registrum depositorum (14 mss) 1668-1791AIM RF Reg. Deposit.
No. 6Registrum dispositionum (19 mss) ca. 1560-ca. 1796AIM RF Reg. Dispos.
No. 7Registrum mandatorum (10 mss) 1654-1798AIM RF Reg. Mandat.
No. 8Registrum revelationum (4 mss) 17th centuryAIM RF Reg. Revel.
No. 9Repertoria registrorum dispositionum legatorum piorum (19 mss) 1571-1796AIM RF Repertoria Reg. Dispositionum